“I do not believe women lack courage…are men equally afraid but socialised to suppress it?”

This comment was from Transhuman on the post “When women fear men“.

“I think it is important to consider why are women raised to be afraid. I do not believe women lack courage, so why when a man and a women grow up in the same culture does the man walk down a dark road without problems and a woman is afraid of what might be in the shadows?

Another consideration – are men equally afraid but we are socialised to suppress it?”

About the Editors

We're all in this together.


  1. Every time I try to walk the 10 minute walk from my house to the train station in the early morning, men in cars slow down and/or try to ask me if I want a ride….some of this happens on the same block as the local JHS/HS! (Next time I will take pics with my cellphone and send to the police…) ….Now, of course, my husband drives me to the station and picks me up whenever he can….(This never happens to him when he is walking around!)

    • If it’s legal maybe record it on a small video camera, blur out the face and license plate, any identifying features and post it on youtube. I’ve heard plenty of these random encounters women get but haven’t seen any happen, I’m interested to see and hear what the guys do. I’m guessing it’s in a manner that isn’t just the typical friendly small town type that wants to help people out?

  2. Michael says:

    Well here is a classic example of ‘tidal courage’ by which I mean women choosing when to have courage and men being expected to. On a yahoo news story about a woman mauled by cheetahs in a game preserve while trying to protect two children (amazingly courageous!!!) and her husband shot pictures (not realizing it had transitioned from petting cheetahs to attack in a blink of an eye) a woman responded with this:

    “Seriously, what kind of man stands there and watches a little kid get grabbed by a cheetah while his WIFE runs to help her?”

    Somehow this type of sexism in regards to courage and danger just passes under the radar as business as usual; What kind of *MAN* doesn’t put his life in danger while the WOMAN does instead?

    I was out the other night and two idiots were posturing who both wanted to fight over nothing, and the gf was passive-aggresively egging her bf on; she’d separate them and then throw a couple barbs over her shoulder at the other guy, either assuming he wouldn’t talk back to a woman or more likely to provoke him. She finally did (he (gasp) called her a name) so they fought. Two idiots who wanted to throw down and the idiot gf who wanted to see it happen. A few people ran to stop them as they rolled around hitting each other and the gf was kicking too. Now I’ve broken up a few fights in my day and will ONLY get involved if it is a friend or some clear beat-down. This was idiots getting what they wanted. Some woman sitting having wine who was watching the whole thing screamed ‘Arent’ there any more MEN to stop this? Where are the MEN???!!!” When it was over (quickly) and I went inside she sneered at me ‘Some MAN you are’. That is the kind of ‘courage’ I am used to from women; giving my life and limb away as some thing that is at her disposal, beck, and call while she sits in safety.

    • That’s disgusting what that woman sneered about your manhood, did you correct her?

      • That would have only gotten him into trouble for “harassment”. Especially these days when women seem to have a free pass on escalating from harsh words to physical contact in a way that the reverse would not be tolerated.

  3. I think it depends on the man and it depends on the situation. Personally I’m way more afraid of bumping into a woman and her screaming that I touched her than I am of walking down a dark street in a strange city. I actually like walking down dark streets.

    Because it’s all about your skillset. If some fucker jumps me in an alley I know I have a chance to fight him off. If some woman accuses me of grabbing her ass I know I’m dead in the water, no one will ever believe me, no jury in the world will proclaim me innocent, every single person within earshot will assume my guilt.

    Women probably fear physical shit more just because they’re weaker, not because they are more likely to be targeted (we know that’s not true). They just don’t have the skillset to deal with that type of threat. But then again women don’t seem to be scared at all about getting accused of sexual harassment or molestation. Different skillset.

  4. Dunno about you but walking dark streets alone I am quite nervous and on very high guard. This myth of men not being afraid is so misunderstood by some women, it’s sad to see them assume a male privilege is to walk streets alone feeling safer when they’re more likely to be attacked vs a woman. The only major difference I’d say is that men are taught to be brave and self-sacrifice, take risks more and face fears, “man up” and be ready to fight coupled with a society that focuses on female vulnerability and victimization whilst ignoring the same for men. It can leave a perception that most men feel safe when really I think most men just try to hide their fear to appear “manly”.

    • This myth of men not being afraid is so misunderstood by some women, it’s sad to see them assume a male privilege is to walk streets alone feeling safer when they’re more likely to be attacked vs a woman.
      Part of the reason this got twisted up is because people twisted it up either on purpose or because they didn’t know any better. The thing is its not that women aren’t safe walking the streets alone at night and men are. Its that when it comes to sexual violence specifically men are safer than women walking the streets alone at night. (On the other hand when it comes to nearly every type of non sexual violence the numbers seem to say that women are actually safer than men, and by ‘safer’ I mean ‘not as likely to get attacked’.)

      The twisting comes into play when that part about sexual violence gets conveniently omitted and the statement becomes a blanket declaration that men are safer than women in such situations. Because you see apparently in order for women’s issues to matter some folks find it necessary to either cook the numbers, twist the numbers, and even straight up lie sometimes.

      Take a look of this from the Male Privilege Checklist over at Amptoons:
      8. I am not taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces.

      Suddenly its a male privilege to be left ignorant of possible danger spots at best or at worst its a male privilege that we are taught to actively ignore fear until we are arrogant about it.

      • Does that make it a female privilege to be taught to fear possible danger spots? A female privilege to have your fears taken more seriously than a man and less of a need to put on the brave face?

  5. Eric M. says:

    Fear is for a protection. However, more fear than necessary can be crippling or, at least, results in missed opportunities. So, some women lose out on opportunities by by being more fearful than necessary, and some men become victims by not having enough fear.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      “some women lose out on opportunities by being more fearful than necessary, and some men become victims by not having enough fear.”

      The reverse is also true. I see men miss out on relationships all the time due to fear, and women who don’t have enough fear to say “no.”

      • Fear of rejection keeps me from a relationship at the moment. Fear crippled my life as well, restricted my social life massively (social anxiety disorder). Thankfully though I am working on that fear and life is getting better, I know all too well the dangers of fear and wouldn’t want anyone to follow in the footsteps I use to take.

        • Yea I hear you man. I ended up picking up a girl the other night by accident. I was standing right behind her at the bar trying to get the bartender’s attention. She turned around and looked at me expectantly. I threw my hands up and said, “I’m just tryin to get a drink!”

          She got a big laugh out of that.

  6. Another consideration – are men equally afraid but we are socialised to suppress it?”
    I’d say it goes further than being taught to suppress fear. I think as men we are taught to embrace a bravery and courage that often crosses over into arrogance and recklessness. Its not just suppression, its over compensation.

Speak Your Mind